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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-07-01

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    All candidate countries for accession to the European Union must respect and meet EU commitments they have undertaken, and no exceptions can be made in this respect, President of the House of Representatives Demetris Christofias has stressed.

    Addressing the Conference of Speakers of EU national parliaments, in Denmark, he said The EU should play its own important role in the international arena as defender of the principles and decisions of the United Nations Charter and international law.

    All candidate countries for accession to the Union must respect and meet the EU commitments they undertake and no exceptions, discounts or delays can apply to this rule, Christofias noted in his speech on Interparliamentary Cooperation and the Future of Europe.

    Referring to the future of Europe, he said it can be shaped only if human rights and European values become the focus of interest among member states.

    ``Only by doing so will we build a better future for Europe and for the whole world``, he added.

    As regards the EU Constitutional Treaty, rejected by France and Holland in separate referenda, Christofias said this rejection highlights a crisis created by many inequalities in Europe, as a result of the current system that subjects everything to the rules and regulations of the free market.

    Cyprus joined the EU in May 2004 along with another nine countries. Turkey, a candidate country that has begun accession negotiations, has yet to meet its obligations to Brussels with regard to Cyprus, still refusing to open its ports and airports to Cypiot vessels and aircraft.


    The current six-monthly rotating presidency of the European Union, Finland, has said it would work quietly to help the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot sides reach agreement on direct trade between the northern Turkish occupied part of Cyprus with the EU.

    Speaking to Cypriot journalists, Finlands Ambassador to Cyprus Risto Pipponen said that it was important to make headway towards this direction, noting that the EU presidency can facilitate the two sides but cannot impose any solution on this pending issue.

    The EU has to respect its commitments, he said with regard to the April 26, 2004, decision to facilitate the Turkish Cypriot community. The Ambassador refrained from disclosing possible plans Helsinki may have to help resolve differences, but said the presidency will work quietly, adding that it was up to the two parties to reach agreement on the matter.

    Responding to questions, he said that Turkey has to meet its obligations towards the EU, which is set to review progress towards this goal by the end of October this year.


    Relatives of missing persons in Cyprus appear cautiously optimistic that a meeting on Monday between President of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat could help make headway in the search for the truth about the fate of persons listed as missing.

    We have to have hope, this is a meeting which can send a message to the international community that this issue is a humanitarian one and has to be settled, Nicos Theodosiou, president of the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons and Undeclared Prisoners told CNA today, two days ahead of the meeting, to take place in the presence of the UN Secretary Generals Special Representative in Cyprus Michael Moller.

    Thedosiou said the relatives demand an actual and true investigation into the fate of their loved ones and this can only be achieved if the Turkish side shows good will, he noted.

    Responding to questions, he said that Mollers good intentions and the experience of Christophe Girod, the third member of the Committee of Missing Persons (CMP), are good indications that could pave the way for progress towards the resolution of this humanitarian issue.

    All indications with regard to exhumation of remains are good. We are on the right track and expect that by the end of August we shall have a full programme of exhumations both in the Turkish occupied areas as well as in the government controlled part of the country, Theodosiou said.


    An Australian Parliament delegation will pay an official visit to Cyprus from July 2 -7, at the invitation of the House of Representatives.

    The delegation comprises Chairman of the Australia-Cyprus Friendship Group at the Parliament of Australia, Senator George Brandis and member of the Group Maria Vamvakinou (member of the House), Brett Mason (Senator), Brendan OŽ Connor (member of the House), Sophie Mirabella-Panopoulos (member of the House) and Steve Georganas (member of the House).

    An official statement said that during their stay, the Australian parliamentarians will be received by House President Demetris Christofias.

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